It’s time for garden talks & classes in WNY

photo illustration of soil
Photo illustration by Connie Oswald Stofko

There isn’t a lot to do in your garden right now, so it’s a good time to learn more about gardening and get prepared for spring.

Here is a sampling of classes and talks coming up in the next few weeks.

We’re constantly adding more activities to our Events page, so check there often to see what’s coming up. Everything listed there, including garden club meetings, is open to the public.

Events held by nonprofit groups are listed on for free.

Email your event information to

Please make sure to include the address of the place where you are meeting; people from other towns may not know where a community center or church is located. Please tell me what the event is, the time, day, date, place and address. Include other information that is relevant. Optional: If you have someone who is willing to respond to questions about the event from our readers, include a phone number or e-mail address to be included in the post.

Send all of your dates for the coming year at one time if you can (it’s easier for me). The magazine is published on Tuesdays, so make sure you get an event to us before the Monday preceding your event.

Horticulture classes at Botanical Gardens

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is hosting Horticulture III classes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

They are taught by the talented horticulturist David R. Clark, CNLP.

Horticulture classes and topics in this series are: 

  • 303 – February 22 – Shade Gardening
  • 304 – February 29 – Small Space and Urban Gardening
  • 305 – March 14 – Beneficial Insects and Pollinators

The cost is $20 per class for Botanical Gardens members and $25 per class for the general public. Registration is available online.

Horticulture IV classes start March 28. (Horticulture V and VI will be offered in 2021.)

Cooperative Extension classes in Erie County

Communities in Bloom

Communities in Bloom Spring Gardening Classes will be held by the Master Gardeners of Erie County on two different dates and at different locations.

Option A: SaturdayFeb. 8

Registration at 8:30 am; classes from 9 am – 2:30 pm at Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

Option B: SaturdayFeb. 29

Registration at 8:30 am; classes from 9 am – 2:30 pm at Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County, 21 South Grove Street, East Aurora.

Each one-day seminar will cover:

  • Care of Trees and Shrubs: An Olmsted Park Perspective
  • Gardening Through the Seasons
  • Backyard Beekeeping

The cost is $25 for current Erie County Master Gardeners and $30 for the public.

Register here for Option A or register here for Option B or contact Jolie Hibit at or (716) 652-5400 x 176.

Master Gardener Education Day

Education Day will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14 at Classics V Banquet Center, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

Speakers include:

  • Joseph Tychonievich, garden writer and plant breeder. He will speak on “Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style” and “Great, Non-Wimpy Plants that You Don’t Already Grow.”
  • Joseph Han of the English Gardener. He will speak on “Floriferous Design.”

The event includes a hot buffet lunch, beverages and snacks. Space is limited.

The cost is $60 for the general public, $50 for Master Gardeners from outside Erie County and $40 for Erie County Master Gardeners.

Advanced registration is required; register here.

Garden Talk series in Batavia

The Garden Talk series will be held again by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at the extension office, 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

All Garden Talk programs run from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.  Thursdays. Take your lunch.

The series is free and registration isn’t needed.

Feb. 6 – Take a break from winter to learn about Vancouver Island’s “Vision of Beauty,” the Butchart Gardens. They are a flowering oasis, 100-plus years in the making. See how one woman’s vision came to be. A National Historic Site of Canada, the Butchart Gardens are world renowned.

March 5“Soil Blocking for Seed Starting.” Learn about an indoor seed-starting technique called soil-blocking. This unique method allows gardeners to produce twice as many vigorous seedlings in about half the space of traditional seed starting methods. The seedlings grow in a free-standing block of growing medium. That’s right — no containers! The space between these blocks “air prunes” the roots, so plants do not become root bound and are also easier to transplant.

See more classes here.

LEAF series in Chautauqua County

LEAF 2019: ​Interpreting Soil Sample Reports will be held by Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 19 at Carnahan Center, Jamestown Community College, 525 Falconer St., Jamestown.

Topics to be covered include why it’s important to sample soils, how to take a soil sample, the difference between a pH test and a full analysis soil sample, and how to read a soil sample report.

There will also be a hands-on portion that will include a demonstration on using the Cornell pH Test Kit, practice examples on how to determine fertilizer and lime application rates based on your sample report, and how to determine your soil type.

Participants can pay either $5 (covering just the course materials) or $20 (which will include a voucher for a free soil sample at a $20 value).

The workshop will be led by Josh Putman, Field Crops Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Regional Team.

For more information, contact Emily Reynolds at or
716-664-9502, ext. 201.

See more Chautauqua County events here.

Cooperative Extension classes in Wyoming County

Hydroponic indoor gardening

Cornell Cooperative Extension in Wyoming County will hold a workshop on hydroponic indoor gardening from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, 36 Center St., Suite B, Warsaw.

This session will be at the beginner level and will cover:

  • Materials needed
  • Light and heat requirements
  • pH and importance for plant growth
  • Adjusting pH
  • Basic nutrient requirements and creating a nutrient solution
  • Easy to grow plants
  • Starting your seeds
  • Troubleshooting and issues you may encounter

The fee is $10 per person.

For more information, contact Don Gasiewicz at 585-786-2251, ext. 113 or

Pre-registration is preferred. Register online or call Lisa at 585-786-2251, ext. 123 or

Beginner beekeepers workshop

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County will hold a beginner beekeepers workshop from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, 36 Center St., Suite B, Warsaw.

Genesee Valley Apiaries’ Dan Chasey will lead the workshop, which will cover:

  • Basic equipment, startup costs, tools.
  • Beginner information—make an informed decision on keeping bees. Equipment, treatments, and picking either a package or a nuc.
  • Pros and Cons of packages VS nucs.
  • Where to buy packages or nucs.
  • When to plan for populating your hives.
  • Basic first inspections.

The fee is $10 per person or $5 for Cooperative Extension enrollees.

For more information, contact Debra Welch at 585-786-2251, ext. 125 or

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